Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Genealogy - Pay Attention to the Detail

 SAR Compatriot:Eugene Foley

Pay Attention to the Detail
When we qualify our ancestors as patriots with proof of birth, death, and marriage, we often don’t bother with other information that might lead to a better understanding of who they are.  Census records, city directories and obituaries also provide information, such as occupation or employers, that can help us understand more about who our ancestors are and how they lived.

In my research, I very much enjoy finding interesting facts and digging deeper into them.  As I was looking at my Jamestown families, I found a ship’s captain by the name of James Davis or Davies from whom I am descended.  In the notes about his life, it mentioned that he had also delivered colonists to the Popham Plantation, and that he had captained a pinnace that had been built there (the first English ship built in North America).  Pretty cool, I thought.
Of course, there are many ancestry-based societies other than SAR/DAR, Mayflower, and Jamestown.  One of them is dedicated to the descendants of what is often called the Popham Plantation, located in the area near Kennebunk, Maine.  The colonists arrived there in mid-1607.  Yep, 1607.  About the same time as Jamestown was first settled.  The Popham settlement was apparently pretty well managed, as it only lost one of its colonists in the first year…unlike Jamestown and Plymouth.
Interestingly, the colony, which was principally a commercial enterprise, was abandoned a year later.  Such presence of Europeans in North America was enough that by the time the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth, the indigenous people had some knowledge of the English.  This helps to explain the comfort with which Squanto and Massasoit could communicate with the colonists.